Special Panels

Panel 1: Digital Health in China: Unique Opportunities and Challenges

The digital health market is booming in China because its large population base, the pervasive use of smart phones and mobile payment methods, and the predominantly out-of-pocket financial model of its healthcare system. The aging population and the increasing societal burden for managing complex chronic illnesses such as diabetes are also driving factors for adopting effective and low-cost population health management solutions. This panel convenes digital health experts from the PingAn Health Technology, Microsoft Research Asia, Yidu Cloud, and Tencent to discuss the unique opportunities for, as well as challenges to, developing and diffusing digital health technologies in China. Topics covered will include how various players strive to change the healthcare landscape in China through digital health innovations, and lessons learned can be broadly applied to other countries and other healthcare systems.

Panel Moderator:

  • Yunan Chen, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
  • Xianghua Ding, Associate Professor, Fudan University, China


  • Yuan Ni, PhD., is a senior researcher from PingAn Health Technology Ltd. Where she manages the intelligent disease management department. She received her bachelor degree from Fudan university, computer science department in 2003 and her Ph.D. degree from National University of Singapore, school of computing in 2008. Before joining PingAn Health Tech, she was a senior researcher at IBM Research, China. Dr Ni was a core member of the Watson project and Debater project when she was in IBM. She has more than 10 years of experiences in knowledge graph and natural language processing and is driving to apply these technologies in healthcare domain. Dr Ni was granted more than 20 patents and published more than 20 papers in top international conferences such as SIGMOD, WWW, CIKM, WSDM, Medinfo, AMIA and etc.

  • Jun Yan, PhD. is a chief AI scientist and the director of big data and AI laboratory at Yidu Cloud. He received his PhD from Peking University in 2006. Before joining Yidu Cloud, he was a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Asia where he served as a manager for intelligence business and data mining group. His research interests include knowledge discovery in AI, machine learning, text mining, information retrieval and AI for healthcare. He has published more than 80 articles in research venues such as SIG KDD, SIGIR, WWW and ICDM.

  • Yefeng Zheng, PhD. is currently an R&D Director at Tencent, China, leading the company's initiative on Medical AI. He received B.E. and M.E. degrees from Tsinghua University, China, and a Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland, USA. Before joining Tencent, he worked 12 years at Siemens on intelligent medical image analysis and have contributed to many award-winning products. He has published 100+ papers and invented 70+ US patents. He is a fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.

Panel 2: Publishing in Health Informatics: Perspectives from Editor-in-Chiefs

With the rapid development of health IT technologies and exploration of health data, many (new) researchers and trainees are expecting to publish in the exciting field of health informatics. Yet, they may not fully understand the genre and review criteria of different journals in the field. In this panel, we invite the current editor-in-chiefs from Journal of American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, and Journal of Healthcare Informatics Research (JHIR) to discuss topic areas, review process, and future directions of each journal, as well as their roles in the scientific community. The panel will also answer publication related questions from audience.

Panel Moderators:

  • Yunan Chen, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
  • Zhiyong Lu, Senior Investigator, NLM/NCBI


  • Suzanne Bakken, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN, FACMI, FIAHSI, is the Alumni Professor of Nursing and a professor of biomedical informatics at Columbia University and Co-chair of the Health Analytics Center of the Data Science Institute. Dr. Bakken is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Nursing, American College of Medical Informatics, International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Bakken currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  • Carlo Combi, Ph.D. is a professor at Department of Computer Science, University of Verona. His main research interests are related to the database field, with an emphasis on the management of clinical information. Dr. Combi was the head of the Department from 2007-2012 and the chair of the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Society (AIME) from 2009-2013. He is an author the book Temporal Information Systems in Medicine, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief for journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

  • Christopher C. Yang, Ph.D. is a professor in the College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University. His research interests include healthcare informatics, data analytics, artificial intelligence, web search and mining, security informatics, knowledge management, information visualization, information sharing and privacy, and electronic commerce. He is the director of Healthcare Informatics Research Lab, the director of data science programs, and the program director of the MS in Health Informatics at Drexel University. Dr. Yang currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Healthcare Informatics Research.